Monday, April 9, 2012

Shrew Taming, etc.

The Stump family took a rather last minute trip to Chicago for the end of spring break.  Priceline got us a four-star hotel on Michigan Avenue for the price you'd usually pay for a Super 8 out along the interstate.  But unfortunately, it didn't get us enough beds for everyone.  Usually two of the boys double up and one on the floor, but this very fine hotel only had full size beds in the rooms.  So after a stirring speech, the eldest got the bed; the youngest pushed together two chairs and made a sort of nest; and the middle child was left on the floor.  The wife and I normally don't mind close quarters throughout the night, but in the company of our three teenage sons, even we enjoyed sleeping double in a (barely oversized) single bed less than we wished.

Every time we've gone to Chicago recently it has been absolutely gorgeous weather.  We started out at the planetarium where we bought a membership last time we came, because that was cheaper than paying full admission for all of us.  So it paid off this time by not having to pay anything to see a couple of the shows.  One of them was on the search for exo-planets, which is fascinating to me.  I made a prediction that is now witnessed by all (or both) of you: in my children's lifetimes, we'll discover life on other planets.  I'd be happy to debate the theological implications.  The other show was a 3D thing about all the space junk orbiting the planet.  I suspect that someone is going to make a lot of money in another generation by figuring out how to clean it up.

Then the boys and I walked to the Sears/Willis Tower, hoping to go up and try out the plexiglass walk out.  But being Easter weekend, there was a three hour wait.  So we hopped in a cab and got to the Hancock Tower really fast, compliments of our Moroccan cab driver.  Once there, however, we opted for a Jamba Juice snack and some window shopping in Watertower.  Then what has become a Stumpmen tradition, we wandered around Gold Coast Lambourghini taking pictures of the cars while the salespeople completely ignored our very existence.  Just down the street is a Giordano's pizza where mom met us for supper.

The next morning was Taming of the Shrew at the Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier.  Although politically incorrect and offensive at several levels, we had a very good time at it.  While on the pier, we made a mental note of a return trip in the summer for the Imax showing of The Dark Knight Rises (sans the wife/mom).  After seeing the play, we were feeling bold enough to plan such a male-only trip.  My wife, who--though spirited--is about as far from a shrew as you can get, was good enough to drive to and from Chi-town so I could spend the journey grading freshman critical thinking papers about evolution.

Good times.


D.C. Cramer said...

This post brings back a number of memories. Andrea and I had dinner at the Hancock the night of our engagement, and we once volunteered as ushers at Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Peer so we could get into a play for free. Most of my memories of the planetarium, though, are of wearing a penguin suit and serving rich people wine and cocktails at wedding receptions into the wee hours of the morning. Once I even served hors d'oeuvres to Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of Gemini 12.

FarmerLenny said...

Regarding the theological implications of life on other planets, have you by chance read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell? When I moved to Illinois, it was one of the books everyone at work was talking about (along with Leif Enger's Peace Like a River).

J. B. Stump said...

Yes, I've read The Sparrow twice (and its sequel, Children of God). They are fantastic (as is Peace Like a River). You're moving in the right circles!

Terry Linhart said...

This sounds like a great family trip to Chicago.